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Who says democracy doesn’t pay? Plenty of people get as much as 50 percent off on goods using group-buying model Groupon. Now you can use it to get deals on $2 apps.
Mobile social gaming company OpenFeint rolled out a Groupon-ish buying system into its new Game Channel service today in the App Store. Any one of the company’s 50 million users can vote on games they want discounted and eventually cash in through a Fire Sale, where a “premium game” normally priced between $2 and $11 drops when it gets enough votes.
This is a direct riff on the Groupon buying model where a bunch of people get in on bargains at local stores by sharing the deals that Groupon sends them. Retailers like Groupon because it guarantees them a lot of sales of one item, which makes them comfortable offering a discount through Groupon.
OpenFeint hopes the magic works the same way in the App Store. With Fire Sales, everyone who voted on a game gets a push notification when and if the price drops. Barring that, Game Channel also plans to offer one free game a day — a model that many iOS developers like to use to get the word out about their new games. Fire Sale kicks off today with Bytemark Games’ Jaws.
The cool thing here is that if group-buying works on iPhone it could work on Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. It’d be like Amazon’s lighting deals directly on your phone. Which might be a bad thing, if the last thing you need is more temptation to spend.
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This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as OpenFeint tries Groupon